Goodbye 2010, you were a good year

I had a Skype date with Julia; I kicked my friend out of my place so that I could be ready for bed before I spoke with her, but now my internet’s out, so I guess this provides me with a good opportunity to write a final 2010 note. Usually I reflect on the year during Thanksgiving and Christmas more than I do for New Years. But seeing as this is the only holiday that seems to really span across the sea for me, it might be a good idea to reflect before the New Year begins.
This past year brought many new (both good and bad) experiences for me. At this point last year, I was unemployed, waiting for my visa to come here, and slowly giving up hope that I would ever make it. I started the year looking for new work, found a job with Harlem Children’s Zone where I think I grew so much as a person, as a manager, as a friend. I loved my kids there so much, all 250 or so in the middle and high school program. I can’t lie and say that I didn’t have favorites. They knew who they were, who they are. I feel like I did some good work there. Six of my (then 10th grader, now 11th graders) got into a program with the New School so that by the time they graduate high school, they’ll have 12 college credits, and will hopefully be better prepared for college and life. One of those kids, Jasmine, has become a Linda for me. Linda is my mentor; I met her in high school while working at PS87, kept in contact with her throughout high school, college, and then again contacted her in grad school. She is someone I look up to very much. I hope I can provide as much support, guidance, love, and good energy to Jasmine as Linda provides for me. It feels really good to be able to be on the other end, to know that you’re doing something good for someone else, something that someone else has done for you. Ok, enough of that mushy stuff. I’m very happy that my visa didn’t work out the first time though; I think it was totally worth the experience.
I got into yoga, started composting, rode my bike everywhere, found out two of my best friend’s were pregnant, lost 10 pounds, felt like my biological clock was ticking a little harder, went to 3 weddings including my most amazing sister, officially got the most amazing brother in law, became closer to some of my already close friends, turned 27, reevaluated what I wanted to do in life, became more comfortable in my own skin, with myself and who I am, decided to let destiny play a bit of a role in my life, experienced love, didn’t break any body part or seriously injure anything, experienced loss, grew much closer to my parents, decided to move to another country for two years, bought a one way ticket, and began learning a new culture and language, lived on my own for the first time, became the most lonely that I’ve ever been and overcame the loneliness, learned how to cook in a completely new kind of food style. I’d say that makes for a pretty full and exciting year.

Back to living in India, things continue to be a little slow this week. Nothing happened on Tuesday. Some people threw rocks at busses. I went out to a mini arcade with some friends in the evening. It was really nice. My landlady is also back to being super nice to me again. I’m not sure why. Last night she pulled me in at nearly 11pm for dinner, even though I explained I already ate, and then continued to make me watch a “horror” movie (it’s in quotes because it wasn’t really scary at all), it was also in Hindi which made it a little confusing. I was hoping to pick up a few more words but it didn’t really happen. Speaking of Hindi, I’m dedicating a little more time and effort to learning. I think it might be a little more annoying, to coworkers especially, but it’s just something I need to do. I’m a little impatient with myself and am upset I’m not picking it up faster. I do understand though that it’s harder than any of the other languages I speak because it doesn’t follow the same rules at all.
Last night I was supposed to give a mini capoeira class to the kids on the block. The parking garage at the house we usually have the classes was locked and closed so on my way home the kids invited me to play Laguri with them. It’s an interesting game involving knocking over rocks with a ball and putting them back in place before the other team hits you with the ball. The kids treat me almost as I’m their peer. I don’t mind. I think things like that keep you young. I certainly don’t feel 27 most of the time.

I haven’t done New Years resolutions in a very, very long time. I don’t intend to go back to doing them now. All I can say is that 2010 was a great year for many, many reasons. I expect the same for 2011. There’s no reason it shouldn’t be great. I want to continue with many of the good stuff that happened. I’m waking up early tomorrow so that I can get to work early so that I can leave early so that I can get to Mumbai before 10pm. I will spend the New Year with my Indian capoeira family.

To all those who will experience New Years with me, for all those who will experience it 10.5 hours later, please enjoy, be safe, and stay warm. Lots of love to everyone!

Happy New Year 2011!!!!

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